A network of private attorneys and the conservative organizations are launching a “war” against ciritcal race theory trainings across the country as President Biden rolls back the Trump administration’s efforts on the issue.
Led by Discovery Institute researcher Chris Rufo, the network’s stated goal is to bring a complaint before the U.S. Supreme Court and “effectively abolish critical race theory programs from American life.”
It comes just after Biden repealed Trump’s executive order banning critical race theory training from the federal government, a move by Trump that Rufo appeared to precipitate by releasing documents leaked from federal employees.
“Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life,” read Rufo’s press release, which echoed Trump’s previous condemnation of the training.
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“It divides Americans by race and traffics in the pernicious concepts of race essentialism, racial stereotyping, and race-based segregation—all under a false pursuit of ‘social justice.’ Critical race theory training programs have become commonplace in academia, government, and corporate life, where they have sought to advance the ideology through cult-like indoctrination, intimidation, and harassment.”
The Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth and Poverty is leading the effort with help from the Southeastern Legal Foundation, Upper Midwest Law Center, Jonathan O’Brien with Schoolhouserights.org, The Pivtorak Law Firm, Wally Zimolong of Zimolong, LLC, and Eric Early and Peter Scott of Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer, & McCrae.
Fox News previously reported on O’Brien’s lawsuit, which involved a multiracial high school student’s complaint over a Nevada charter school course directing him and others to choose oppressive aspects of their identity.
That particular lawsuit alleged discrimination “on the basis of race and color, in addition to sex, gender, and religion, in violation of Title VI and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.”
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Critical race theory, or diversity training, appeared to grow in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, which prompted a wave of calls to dismantle alleged institutional racism. Governments and schools from around the country have adopted so-called anti-racist initiatives with training for employees and students.
Rufo’s coalition is attempting to augment the resistance to this training, which has mostly targeted government initiatives. By bringing individual lawsuits, he hopes to show violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the U.S. Constitution.
The issue is likely to grow under the Biden administration, as his nominee for deputy education secretary Cindy Marten expressed support for this type of training.
As Fox News noted Tuesday, San Diego’s school board acknowledged that Marten, its superintendent, gave an “extremely complimentary” introduction to a speaker who has accused public schools of “spirit murder.”
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Critical race theory training has been defended by some.
“If we are going to live up to this nation’s promise — ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — we have to see each other as human beings, and we have to do whatever it takes, including taking whatever classes make that possible,” attorney M.E. Hart told The Washington Post. Hart, who has conducted these types of training sessions, said: “These classes have been very powerful in allowing people to do that, and we need them more than ever. There’s danger here.”